Children’s Medical Group is now recommending that our patients, age 16-23, get vaccinated against meningococcal group B disease. also known as meningitis B. We are recommending the vaccine for those entering college and those already enrolled.
Until 2014, there were no vaccines to help protect against meningitis B in the US. In 2015, outbreaks of meningitis B occurred on several college campuses. Trumenba, a 2 dose vaccine, administered 6 months apart, can help protect your child from this uncommon, but potentially deadly disease. Even though your child may have received a meningitis vaccine (Menactra) already, the previous vaccine did not protect against meningitis B. Both vaccines are necessary for thorough coverage.
When you need to change a button battery, hunting down a screwdriver to open the tiny lid that covers the battery may seem like a nuisance. But the American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to make sure the lid is closed tightly to keep the batteries out of children’s reach.
Children can suffer serious injuries or die if they swallow button batteries. Injuries are most common in children under 5 years old.
The batteries are used in toys, remote controls, thermometers, hearing aids, calculators, bathroom scales, key fobs, cameras and holiday ornaments.
Lithium batteries the size of a penny or larger are the most dangerous, and even dead batteries are harmful when swallowed. Smaller batteries also can get caught in the esophagus, or children can put them in their ears or nose.
If you think your child may have swallowed a button battery, go to the emergency room right away. Batteries can cause serious burns within two hours of being swallowed, so they need to be removed as soon as possible. Children also have died after batteries were removed because of tissue damage that caused massive internal bleeding.
A child who swallows a button battery may have the following symptoms: blocked airway, wheezing, drooling, vomiting, chest pain, trouble swallowing, no appetite or coughing and gagging when eating.
Children who put batteries in their ear may have drainage from the ear, pain, hearing loss or facial paralysis. If a battery is put into a nostril, it can cause nasal tissue injury, infection and damage or holes in the cartilage that separates the nostrils.
To keep children safe from button battery injuries:
Use screws provided and tape to keep battery compartments sealed shut.
Keep loose batteries out of children’s reach. Never place batteries in cups or near pill bottles.
Check with your garbage company or local authorities to find out how to recycle batteries. Authorities advise placing tape on both sides of the dead battery and storing it in a zip bag out of children’s reach.
If you feed your baby rice cereal, you might want to offer other grains like oatmeal and barley instead because rice contains a high amount of arsenic.
A natural element, arsenic is found in water, air and soil. It is linked to skin, lung, liver, kidney and bladder cancer. Arsenic exposure also may cause problems during pregnancy and developmental problems at birth.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends feeding children a variety of foods to decrease the amount of arsenic in their diet. Pregnant women also should eat different kinds of grains.
Arsenic in infant rice cereal is a concern because infants eat about three times the amount of rice that adults eat in relation to what they weigh. More than half of infant rice cereals meet or are near the limit of 100 parts per billion for arsenic. Cereal companies soon may be required to make sure the amount of arsenic in their products is under the limit. Arsenic is present in other food and drinks like bottled water and apple juice. These products also must not exceed arsenic limits.
To help reduce arsenic in your baby’s diet:
Offer infant cereal grains like oatmeal, barley and multigrain. Rice cereal does not have to be the first cereal or first food given to infants, according to the AAP. Other first foods can include pureed vegetables and meats.
Avoid processed foods containing brown rice sweetener, and do not use rice milk instead of cow’s milk.
Cook brown rice in extra water (six to 10 parts water to one part rice) and drain the extra water to reduce the arsenic.
Feed your baby only breast milk for the first six months of life.
If your child has a swallowing disorder (dysphagia) or gastroesophageal reflux disease and needs cereal thickeners added to formula or breast milk, the AAP suggests using oatmeal. Also, talk with your child’s pediatrician or a feeding specialist. Find details about oatmeal thickeners on the AAP Healthy Children website: http://bit.ly/22TiG23.
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